Kennett Township to create new, 45-acre park
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
Finding the pulsating definition of any bucolic town or municipality in the United States is very likely to direct you to a centrally-located village green, populated by locals, dotted with activity and beautified by nature.
After more than a year of negotiation, Kennett Township is about to get its own pulsating definition.
In a collaboration with Michael Pia, Jr. and Stephanie Pia, the Deleeuw Family, the Township Land Conservation Advisory Committee (LCAC) and The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County (TLC), Kennett Township has purchased a 45-acre property on Bayard Road, adjacent to the township's maintenance garage, which will be converted to a township park for the entire community to enjoy. Open Space Funds were used to pay for the $782,000 purchase of the site, 80 percent of which is likely to be recouped through grant funds in the future.
The property, which features rolling hills, trees and a row of Osage orange trees, makes up a large part of what is a 56-acre property, 11 acres of which has been purchased by the Pia family.
Not only will the location serve as the first Kennett Township park, it is the first property in the Township to utilize transfer development rights to enable high density development in a more suitable area of the Township, and restrict the development on this property, which is located in a high priority open space area. Michael Pia, Jr. purchased the development rights from the 56 acres, which he will transfer to a property on North Walnut Road to create a multi-use development. The Township and the Pia’s worked with TLC, who will hold a conservation easement over the 56 acres.
The passive recreation park will include trails, sunflower and wildflower meadows, a community garden, two separate dog parks and a mowed grass area, suitable for sports. Access to the park will be through the maintenance garage entrance, and will be open from dawn to dusk.
"We are delighted that the Deleeuw and Pia families agreed to work with the Township and the LCAC and TLC to facilitate this amazing open space acquisition," said Township manager Lisa Moore. "We look forward to continued collaborations with the families and the community at large to ensure the preservation of this beautiful property and the creation of the first Kennett Township park for all residents to enjoy."
"Through this public-private partnership, it is evident that Kennett Township is committed to its citizens, not just those who live here today, but every generation that will will follow," said Mike Pia, Jr. "In a single transaction, the township has set a new standard for balancing growth and development, preserved a beautiful piece of open space -- the most precious resource our township has -- and created a public space for all residents' enjoyment.
"Let this be an example to other municipalities of how good government, dedicated toward smart-strategic-growth, can make their own futures."
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
park 2 Courtesy photo The pasive recreation park will include trails, sunflower and wildflower meadows, a community garden, two separate dog parks and a mowed grass area, suitable for sports.